GUESS WHO'S LISTENING

FOR MILLIONS OF SCANNERS, OVERHEARD CONVERSATIONS PROVIDE A FREE, UNFILTERED WINDOW ON THE WORLD

Alan Henney likes to listen. "I primarily listen to police, fire, the Federal Government and some business users," says the 29-year-old graduate student, who lives with his parents in suburban Maryland. "The Park Police, the Secret Service, Smithsonian security, the Federal Protective Service, the U.S. marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration." He pauses. "The shops at Union Station, campus security, building security officers, the security guards at Fort Lincoln Cemetery..."

Cemetery? Oh, yes. "It's kind of a rough neighborhood," Henney elaborates. "There's often security trouble, people being mugged. You just never know who's gonna pop up on a radio frequency."

Besieged politicians...

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